«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«sep 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«nov 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789
«dec 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
«jan 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«feb 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728123
45678910
«mar 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
25262728123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«apr 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293012345
6789101112
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

27.09.2016, 16:50
Plain sailing expected for big guns and Szeged visit Zagreb
«Go back »Print Version


GROUP B PREVIEW: The section’s favourites Kielce should have simple tasks in the second round as they are at home to less fancied rivals, while the Croatian champions entertain Szeged in what should be the most entertaining tie in Group B

»EHF CL Channel »2016-17 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Plain sailing expected for big guns and Szeged visit Zagreb

There were no surprises in the opening round of Group B as the section’s big guns, namely champions Kielce and Macedonian giants Vardar, celebrated emphatic away wins at Brest and Kristianstad, respecticvely.

Those who clashed with each other, Szeged and RNL, shared the spoils while Celje enjoyed a rare victory against traditional rivals Zagreb.

The second round offers one derby, with Zagreb taking on Szeged in the Croatian capital, whereas the home sides will start as strong favourites in the other three.  

Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO)
Wednesday, 18:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

The German champions clawed out a point in their enthralling opener at MOL-Pick Szeged and will look to register their first win when they take on Slovenia’s RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko, who will be buoyed by a well-deserved home win over Zagreb.

Balanced team effort

Rhein-Neckar Löwen showed plenty of grit and determination to avoid defeat in Hungary, as Andre Schmid lead a balanced team effort in attack with six goals while Patrick Groetzki, Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson and Hendrik Pekeler added five each.

Evergreen Icelander Sigurdsson seemed to have blended in seamlessly after his move from Barcelona, with the 37-year-old winger superbly filling the void created by the departure of fellow winger Uwe Gensheimer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Valuable points

The veteran’s clinical finishing will be exactly what’s required to prevent an upset by a fired-up Celje, who shone against Zagreb and earned two valuable points in the battle for a top-six finish.

Having won seven of their eight previous encounters, Mannheim’s Lions will start as odds-on favourites to beat Celje again although the Slovenian outfit will take some confidence from their last meeting when they beat RNL 31:27 on home court in November 2014.

KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL) vs IFK Kristianstad (SWE)
Saturday, 15:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

This is the round’s David vs Goliath clash; Kristianstad were soundly beaten by Vardar 28:23 on home court in the opening round, visit the competition’s defending champions.

Kielce at times made heavy weather of their 29:24 win at Meshkov Brest but easily moved up a gear when they needed to, as Krzysztof Lijewski led a pack of 12 scorers with six goals to his name.

Deep roster

The long scoresheet underlined the depth of Kielce’s roster, which Kristianstad is unlikely to cope with as the holders play on home court in the VELUX EHF Champions League for the first time since they captured their maiden trophy in Europe’s flagship competition.

The two teams met last season, Kristianstad’s first in Europe’s top flight, with Kielce comfortably coming out on top in the corresponding fixture in Poland (35:27) while the match in Sweden ended in a thrilling 35:35 draw.

Tough defence and fast breaks

Kielce’s Spanish line player Julen Aguinagalde was happy with the team’s effort after the win in Brest but also struck a note of caution:

“Every possession was a battle but this is the Champions League and everyone should have expected as much,” he told the club’s website.

“You have to stay focused for the entire 60 minutes and that’s what we did.

“We played tough defence and made our fast breaks count, so we are delighted to have started our title defence on a winning note.”

Fine debut

Kristianstad’s 21-year old prodigy Philip Henningsson enjoyed a fine VELUX EHF Champions League debut, scoring seven goals against Vardar, but is likely to find Kielce’s defence a somewhat tougher nut to crack when the Swedish side gets a stern test of their credentials.


HC Vardar (MKD) vs Meshkov Brest (BLR)
Saturday, 17:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

A flurry of near misses, having been eliminated in the quarter-finals in each of the previous three seasons, is something Vardar will aim to put behind them this term and they got their campaign on the right track with a smooth victory at Kristianstad.

Impressive Dujshebaev

The Macedonian giants have boosted their squad with several big names who are yet to make an impact such as winger Ivan Cupic scored just one goal in Sweden while Spaniard Joan Canellas added three, taking a back seat to his compatriot Alex Dujshebaev led the charge with seven goals.

In fact, it was the backcourt stalwarts who propelled Vardar as Igor Karacic netted five goals and pulled his team’s strings in attack, while Arpad Sterbik was his usual impressive self between the posts.

Balkan handball temple

Matching Kielce in every department for much of the contest in Belarus, Meshkov will hope to repeat that kind of performance in Skopje and hope it will be enough to come away with something against Vardar, whose fans will again throng the iconic Jane Sandanski arena known Europe-wide as the Balkan handball temple.


HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)
Saturday, 20:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

The Croatian giants, who stunned Europe’s premier club competition last season when they knocked out RNL in Round 16, were equally stung this time after losing the regional derby to Celje in the season’s opener.

Dress rehearsal

The setback was only Zagreb’s second defeat in their last eight meetings with Celje and it highlighted a vulnerable defence after the departure of outstanding goalkeeper Filip Ivic to European club champions Kielce.

Ahead of their clash with Szeged, Zagreb will have a suitable dress rehearsal when they visit Bosnians Izvidjac Ljubuski in a SEHA Gazprom regional league match on Tuesday.

Perfect test

Their coach Veselin Vujovic will see the clash as a perfect test for right back Luka Sebetic, who is expected to make a long-awaited return from injury and bolster Zagreb’s attack.

“Sebetic is back after a long-term and serious injury and he needs to play at last one game before we take on Szeged,” Vujovic told the club’s website.

Impressive Gorbok

Szeged too will be kicking themselves after missing a great chance to beat RNL on home court in the opening round, having squandered a two-goal lead in the last few minutes and then conceded a buzzer-beating thunderbolt from Kim Ekdahl du Rietz in a 28:28 draw.

But they will be buoyed by a fine performance from their new signing Sergei Gorbok, who led his team with six goals and dictated play in attack.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / bc
 
Share
CONTACT FORM